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Pure Domination: Bay Reps shut out TC Central 5-0 to win their fourth straight Veterans Cup

The Record-Eagle - 1/29/2024

Jan. 28—ACEME — Centre Ice Arena in Acme was the place to be Saturday afternoon.

Traverse City Central and the Bay Reps drew a large crowd for the 10th annual Veterans Cup pregame ceremony that honored military veterans. The players wore customized jerseys of the veterans they wanted to honor and presented their jerseys to the veterans after the game.

"It's just an honor to play for these veterans who have done so much for our country and are such great people," Bay Reps senior forward Grant Lucas said. "I'm happy to be here and support them and the cause."

Lucas honored U.S. Army veterans in his cousin Thomas Hendricks and George Fedorinchik.

Hendricks served in the Vietnam War, and Lucas picked Fedorinchik because his grandfather served in World War II.

On the ice, senior forward Lars Millar scored a hat trick to help the Bay Reps shut out the Trojans 5-0 to make it four straight victories against the Trojans. The Bay Reps won four of the last five Veteran Cups as last shutout against the Trojans was in 2021.

"It's pretty sweet to get the three-peat," Lucas said after playing in his third Veterans Cup. "It's such a highly-anticipated game and is so much fun to participate in."

The Trojans (9-10, 6-1 Big North Conference) remain in the hunt for the BNC after sweeping Alpena, who won the league last season.

The Trojans haven't brought home a conference banner since going back-to-back in 2019 and 2020.

"That goal is still intact, and we have a lot of hockey left to be played down the stretch," Central head coach Chris Givens said. "We have our sights set and hopefully finish it off, then go into the playoffs with a second season."

The Bay Reps remain one of the hottest teams in the state, moving to 13-4 and sit ranked No. 4 in Division 3. Bay Reps head coach Mike Matteucci can't be more pleased with the season so far.

"I'll be honest, I think this is one of the closest teams we've ever had since I've been coaching here," Matteucci said. "The kids love each other and love to play for each other. We come to the rink ready and as a coach, that's such an awesome thing."

Their performance showed on the ice, but it wasn't until the second period that the Bay Reps got to scoring goals.

The Bay Reps had nine shots on goal in the first period with tons of chances to get ahead.

Millar scored his first of three goals in the second period to help jump start the onslaught of goals. The senior forward tacked in the rest of his goals in the third period.

Lucas scored his 30th goal of the season on a power play to make it 2-0 with under 13 minutes left in the second period, and senior forward Thomas Boynton-Fisher scored his 16th goal to make it 3-0.

The defense and hands of goalkeeper Tyler Boynton-Fisher made things difficult.

The sophomore started in his first Veterans Cup and didn't shy away from the moment.

"I tried to move around and stay hot," Tyler Boynton-Fisher said on how he stayed ready during the pregame ceremony.

He finished the day with a handful of saves as the Trojans produced 17 shots on goals and the Bay Reps managed 25.

"Unbelievable relationship," Matteucci said when describing the Boynton-Fisher brothers. "Both kids are extremely outgoing, and are talkative in the locker room. I enjoy having them both."

The Bay Reps have eight games regular-season games remaining and the Trojans six before playoffs begin, but both have the same mindset when approaching the rest of the season.

"You pretty much have to go into every game treating it like a playoff game," Givens said. "You have to be mentally prepared and try to get away from the peaks and valleys as far as the effort and your systems and everything."

The Trojans travel Wednesday to Big Rapids, and the Bay Reps host Brighton on Saturday.


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